15 Feb 2011

Assignment 4 - Applying lighting techniques

8 photographs

Click here to view flickr set.

Another assignment that is in late, but just like Assignment 3 I am glad that I have again taken my time to get this right. A lot of planning has gone into this one and I hope it shows. Rather than reiterate a lot of what has already been said here are links to entries in my Learning Log that outline my thought process:

Planning for Assignment 4 – part 1
Planning for Assignment 4 – part 2
Planning for Assignment 4 – part 3
Planning for Assignment 4 – part 4

The main inspiration for my object selection game from fashion photography and Marilyn Monroe – I asked a friend if she would model for me and become the subject of this assignment. I think what sold it to her was asking “would you be my Marilyn?!”

Most of my thought process for object selection is documented in part 3 of my planning. You might notice that in all of the photographs the eyes are either concealed, outside the frame or closed, away from the lens: this is done very deliberately. Given that the theme is objectifying the subject I have chosen to omit the eyes to make every photograph very impersonal.

For Assignment 3, the majority of my photographs were taken at my Nikon’s lowest ISO setting so that I could control the colour intensity though the aperture and shutter settings. Also I had the benefit of photographing with a tripod for most of them so longer exposures were not an issue.
For this assignment, however, I have increased the ISO sensitivity in order to increase the shutter speed. The logic behind this was that I wanted to capture each frame handheld so that I could move around the model for the most interesting composition. I also needed to do this quickly as there was a finite amount of time she could hold a pose. All the photographs were shot in RAW and any unsightly noise was reduced later in my digital work flow using Lightroom.

Planning for Assignment 4, pt.4

As part of my preparation for Assignment 4 I decided on a lonely evening in to make a couple of items that I could use as photographic lighting sources to make my life a little easier when photographing. Using a comination of old cardboard boxes, spray glue, tin foil, tracing paper, duct tape and cheap clip-on light fittings I made the following items:

Soft box

This homemade softbox is suspended by an adjustable disco-light stand that I picked up from Cash Converters for £8!

Spot light

The spotlight is made in the same fashion as the above softbox but is instead long and thin so that it is easy to move around and the light is not diffused by tracing paper.

In addition to this I bought myself a 43" circular multi reflector off ebay. Cant complain for £12...

Lastly, I converted the lounge of the flat into a make-shift studio by setting up a series of A-frames using garden twine and bamboo sticks so that I could hand background material from them using bulldog clips. I knew basic training as a cadet would be useful for something...